Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Long Overdue Christ Church Update

A year and a half ago, Christ Church consisted of 7 adults and 3 children. We met in the pastor's cozy, little farm house, we ate meals together, we prayed, we studied and we spent time getting to know one another; most of us were practically strangers, after all.

Six months later, we officially launched Christ Church with maybe one or two added to our numbers. The group seemed so small, the room seemed so big, but the worship was sweet and God was present among us. With so few of us with so much invested, you could literally feel the faith of this Body being tested and stretched. I now look back at that time with great pleasure in my King and His glorious wisdom...In that slow and quiet season, a group of strangers became a family!

Now, as Christ Church is 1 year old (almost), I am delighted to report that the Lord has us in a new season. He is growing us. He is answering our prayers. He is building true community among us. He is providing and giving us a vision for how to steward His blessings. This is our building. We are not in it yet. There is much work to be done, but we are anxiously awaiting the day when we can worship there and serve our community from there.
Some of the things we are dreaming about include:
* Creating a green space. We want to have an area for our kids and the children of the community to play, playground and all. We want to have neighborhood BBQs and other outdoor events such as concerts and movie nights.
* We are planning to open a free parish clinic, staffed by our very own Dr. Hyde!
* We want our building to be a venue for local artists to perform or display their work and of course, for the community to come and experience it.
* We are eager to be able to worship there and have church events there, but we are also eager to utilize our space throughout the entire week. This could mean tutorial services, lectures, book clubs...who knows?...the possibilities are endless.

This is a picture of our Sunday night service a couple of weeks ago. I couldn't resist taking it...the room seemed so full! I was, I am in awe of what God is doing in our church. I'm not sure what the numbers were that week, but this past Sunday we had 43! That's a real-live crowd! The greatest part about the "numbers" is that people are contributing, participating, and getting involved in the business of Church. It's a blessing to see.

This week, we began our home groups again. Last year, we had one large group (10-15) that met at our house every Thursday. This year we have 2 full-size groups. On Tuesdays, Casey and I are leading the college students' small group, and the adult (and family) small group is on Thursdays. We had our first college small group last night...I think it's going to be a fun year. I LOVE college students! I love cooking for them, and I love how they curl up on your couch, and stay over late, and how they help themselves in the kitchen and how they're not afraid to ask hard questions.

It's an exciting time. I think God has much for us to see and learn.
We covet your prayers.


Jenn said...

wow!!! praise the Lord steph. keep the updates coming!

annette said...

Thanks for the update. The glory cloud is descending on Brenham!

Brandi said...

thanks for writing this steph. it's beautiful. i'm excited too, and so glad to be doing this with you.

Jenny said...

I wish I lived nearby y'all to enjoy your church. Don't get me wrong, we love our church but living so far out of town we don't get to be a part of the extra fellowship. There's a lot to be said for the small town churches that make a strong community by themselves. Praise the lord and thank you for sharing.

Justin Hyde said...

thanks so much for the encouraging post. this is certainly an exciting season in the life of our infant congregation. i look forward to many more years and many more meals! ALSO: you are now the official CC photographer. let's start seeing more and more pics!

Sheridan said...

This is awesome! Please have Casey let Chris know when he wants to pick a weekend to bring a big group of students down to help renovate!